* If you’re a supporter of the arts, it’s likely you received an urgent email sometime in the past two weeks about LB497, which proposes to put a moratorium on Nebraska’s 1% for the Arts program. Introduced by Sen. Gwen Howard of Omaha, the legislature heard the bill on Feb. 14. Sen. Howard introduced the bill as a “cost saving” measure; it’s a response to Gov. Dave Heineman’s call to reduce state spending. Nebraska’s program has been in effect since 1978, making it one of the oldest public art programs in the nation, and the loss will be detrimental for practicing artists in Nebraska. It will also mean that state buildings that the legislature votes to build or renovate (the only ones that get considered for the program) won’t have any money devoted to the creation and installation of public art. I don’t usually use this space to preach, but public art is simply too important to cut. If you’re an artist, a gallery owner, a museum employee or simply a person who loves art, make your voice heard. Once things like this get cut, it’s rare that they ever return. Don’t let this happen. Write to the Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Lavon Heidemann and Sen. Gwen Howard. Nebraskans For the Arts has all the contact information on its website, nebraskansforthearts.org. * MEDICI – the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Art and Art History fundraising arm – is celebrating its 15th year with a special fundraiser. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 26 from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery inside Richards Hall on the UNL campus. Over the years, MEDICI has raised more than $100,000 for the department; that money brings visiting artists to campus, funds catalogs and buys equipment like kilns and cameras. Each year, artists that support the department are invited to donate a piece that will be for sale at the event. To purchase general admission, premium and “buy-it-now” tickets, contact LaVonne Keller in UNL's Department of Art and Art History at 472.5522 or firstname.lastname@example.org. * Council Bluffs’ annual Dine out for the Arts is slated for Feb. 22, and 15 restaurants are participating this year. Each restaurant will give a portion of its proceeds to the BAC. Participating restaurants and artists include the 1892 German Bier Haus featuring artist Julie Stueve and music by the Don Jacobson Sax Quartet; Barleys, featuring artwork by Machaela Morrissey and Pat Barton and Cirkle of Fifths band playing during the dinner hour; Boxer B-B-Q featuring music by the Jerry Potter group during the dinner hour; Omaha’s Cantina Laredo featuring artists Mary Mancuso, Michelle Graham and Julie Thorsen; Cellar 19 Wine and Deli featuring artwork by Steve Dunn and Nicki Luth and Dennis and Laura Hopp on guitar during dinner; Christy Creme featuring artist Jacqueline Wintour; Omaha’s Dixie Quicks Magnolia Room featuring work in the gallery; Crescent’s Garden Grove Deli featuring art by Kate Jobe and music by clarinetist Joann Arbaugh; Omaha’s Indian Oven, featuring art by Matthew Jones and music for dinner by Kenneth Be’ on the lute; Jack Binion’s Steakhouse at Horseshoe Casino featuring artists James Laurent and Lynn Kvigne; Omaha’s Jackson Street Tavern featuring artwork by H. Marquez and Shannon Flynn and music during the dinner hour by Jazz Explosion; Kitchen Emporium and Wine Shop; Old River Pizza featuring music at dinner by the Aaron Rodenburg Duo; Scott Street Pub; and Tish’s featuring art by Holly Young and music by Da Band.